Ant Identification Guide

Ant Identification Guide

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Ants are a type of insect that is represented by many different sub species within their overall species. Although ants are somewhat beneficial in natural ecosystems, they can indeed be a pest if the right circumstances are in place to attract them. Since there are many types of ants, it is important to know the specific type of ant you may be under siege from. A professional extermination service can make the best decision after a consultation, but for purposes of knowing if you have an infestation on your hands, an identification guide is useful. For purposes of pest control, here is a list of the most common types of ants you may encounter as a nuisance.

Carpenter Ants

Carpenter ants are a problematic ant in Canada. These ants are similar to termites in how they typically destroy wooden structures to make nests for their colonies. This type of ant can be found within homes in the same areas where you may find termite damage, of which carpenter ant damage is very similar to. Their appearance is usually wholly black in color, with a perfectly shaped abdomen that separates the upper and lower half of the ant.

If you do not see them, you may also be able to identify their presence by the appearance of ‘frass,’ a sawdust-like material around the outside of their colony. A consultation with one of our pest control professionals will be able to determine if the colony is carpenter ants or termites. Call for fast and reliable carpenter ant extermination in Toronto: 647-496-2211

Little Black Ant

Another type of household ant indigenous to Canada is the little black ant. These ants are much, much smaller than carpenter ants, which will make differentiating between the two a bit easier since both ants are black. The little black ant is a scavenger by nature, meaning they will typically leave their colony in search of food sources, which can include dead insects, decaying matter, moisture, and sugary liquid substances. If your home becomes invaded by this species, it will be an incredibly difficult task to eradicate them.

A pest control professional will be equipped to destroy the invading colony and set up preventative measures to keep them out of the home.

Pharaoh Ant

Another type of invasive ant throughout southern Canada is the Pharaoh ant. This ant is about the same size as the little black ant, but with a yellow to red color dynamic which makes identification simple. This species will also build nests and colonies inside of homes, which is why it is crucial to hire a professional to eradicate this species.

The above three species of ant are the three most common types of ants reported as home invaders throughout wider Canada. Control measures pertaining to these ants are difficult, which is why it is of utmost importance to consult an exterminator with ant experience to remedy this potentially overwhelming situation. Do-it-yourself measures will not be enough to eradicate an ant invasion and keep them out; allow a professional to completely fix the problem.

Pavement Ants

The pavement ant is perhaps one of the most recognizable ant species in Toronto. These tiny, yet industrious ants frequently make their colonies underneath structures outside of homes such as porch eaves, railings, and pavements from which they derive their names. This species is dark brown in color, which can sometimes turn black as they get older. The abdomen and backside of the pavement ant is darker in color, while the prominent head is dark brown.

Perhaps the only possible benefit you can expect to get out of this ant species is that they happen to love to feast on subterranean termites. Even though this is a positive, they can also severely disrupt the soil within a residential yard due to the constant foraging they undertake to find live termites. Additionally, this species is constantly on the hunt for food scraps, moisture, and sugary substances which constantly brings them into homes where they can infest kitchens.

Once an infestation has started, it is incredibly hard to eradicate this species of ant. Pest control professionals respond to pavement ant infestations consistently throughout the year and have developed proven comprehensive treatment patterns to exterminate and repel them quickly and efficiently.

Citronella Ants

Some ant species are only problematic simply because they like to wander inside of homes for one behavioral pattern or another. The citronella ant is one such species of ant. This ant poses no real threat to residential property, but during spring, when they begin to swarm during the mating cycle. The reason that this species swarms in places beyond its preferred habitat is unknown, especially considering this ant prefers outdoor environments and does not even forage for human food or attractants.

The citronella ant is common in Canada due to the temperate atmospheric conditions. This species exists solely on the excess liquids and secretions of other insects and are recognizable by their yellow and brown colors. Although they rarely enter a home, they will build their colonies around porches and in gardens, which can be a nuisance. You will likely experience this ant during the spring months as they constantly fly into safe environments to reproduce and possibly seek areas for new colonies, although they do not prefer the insides of a house.

During a swarm, they can overwhelm a home, so do not hesitate to call an exterminator as eradicating this species can be very difficult.

Article Updated: February 4, 2020

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Joe The Exterminator
Joe The Exterminator

Joe is a professional pest control exterminator with over 15 years of experience and enjoys sharing his knowledge about different pests and how you can deal with them.